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11b results - Outdoor

While such complete indoor coverage is nice, an outdoor range test provides an even better test of extended-range claims. Part of my "outdoor" test actually includes having the signal traverse about 40 feet of indoor space, including a few sheetrock interior walls and one exterior wall. So while it's not an entirely outdoor test, it provides some insight into potential use of these technologies for sharing signals with outbuildings or across-the-street neighbors, without having to go through the hassle of putting the wireless router outdoors.

Figure 16 shows a comparative plot of 11b downlink performance, with the results showing that the True MIMO products have a slight edge over the ParkerVision. The loser in this match is Super G / XR, whose performance falls off steadily with distance. Note that all three products made it out to 400 feet, which is no small feat in itself! But while the NETGEAR Super G / XR gear was just about at its range limit, both the D2D and True MIMO appeared to still have some distance left in them. Unfortunately, I didn't, so 400 feet is where my testing stops.

11b Outdoor Throughput vs. Distance - AP to STA

Figure 16: 11b Outdoor Throughput vs. Distance - AP to STA
(click on the image for a larger view)

The low 150 foot throughput for True MIMO can be explained by examining its plot in Figure 17. The pattern indicates a shift from 11 to 5.5Mbps transmit rate, which I confirmed by watching the client application's display during testing. I'm not quite sure why the downward shift occurred, other than just as a part of normal range-shifting algorithms.

11b 150ft Outdoor Throughput - Belkin, STA to AP

Figure 17: 11b 150ft Outdoor Throughput - Belkin, STA to AP
(click on the image for a larger view)

Figure 18 shows a similar dip in the uplink tests at 350 feet for True MIMO, which recovered to higher throughput at 400ft. Looking at the IxChariot plot (not shown) for that test shows a pattern indicating constant rate shifting between 11 and 5.5Mbps. Once again, the Super G / XR products start out strong, but slow down with distance. The D2D gear also shows a similar, though not as marked, downward trend. The clear winner, however, is True MIMO, which was chugging along above 5Mbps at 400ft!

11b Outdoor Throughput vs. Distance - STA to AP

Figure 18: 11b Outdoor Throughput vs. Distance - STA to AP
(click on the image for a larger view)

Figures 19 through 24 show IxChariot throughput plots for the three technologies at 200 and 400 foot locations. These plots will give you an idea of how steady the throughput is, which for the D2D and True MIMO products was surprisingly good!

11b 200ft Outdoor Throughput - NETGEAR, STA to AP
Figure 19: 11b 200ft Outdoor Throughput -
NETGEAR, STA to AP

(click on the image for a larger view)
11b 400ft Outdoor Throughput - NETGEAR, STA to AP
Figure 20: 11b 400ft Outdoor Throughput -
NETGEAR, STA to AP

(click on the image for a larger view)

11b 200ft Outdoor Throughput - ParkerVision, STA to AP

Figure 21: 11b 200ft Outdoor Throughput -
ParkerVision, STA to AP

(click on the image for a larger view)
11b 400ft Outdoor Throughput - ParkerVision, STA to AP
Figure 22: 11b 400ft Outdoor Throughput -
ParkerVision, STA to AP

(click on the image for a larger view)
11b 200ft Outdoor Throughput - Belkin, STA to AP
Figure 23: 11b 200ft Outdoor Throughput -
Belkin, STA to AP

(click on the image for a larger view)
11b 400ft Outdoor Throughput - Belkin, STA to AP
Figure 24: 11b 400ft Outdoor Throughput -
Belkin, STA to AP

(click on the image for a larger view)

Other performance observations are that average latency (ping times) for all products was about 1mS out to around 300ft. I also ran spot checks of UDP streaming tests at 500kbps with Qcheck, which generally came in at or slightly under 500kbps with 0% lost packets for uplink tests.

I noticed, however, that downlink streaming for the ParkerVision products took a large throughput hit with high packet loss (example: 235kbps and 52% loss), even with client and router right next to each other! No such problem was seen in the uplink direction, so this one's a puzzler. Actually, the Super G / XR and True MIMO products also had impaired downlink UDP streaming, but with only single-digit packet loss percentage and about 25 to 50kbps loss of throughput.

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